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Full text of "Alexander von Humboldt"

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SIS                              LIFE  OF
   This lengthened sojourn in their native town was
made more  agreeable  by the   improvement in   the
intellectual   life   of Berlin   which  had   taken   place
during" their absence; and it must also have afforded
Humboldt the greatest pleasure to find that Schiller's
works  were  successfully represented on   the   Berlin
stage.    It was also of interest to watch the statesmen
who were preparing themselves to gather round their
king and his noble queen, and save Prussia from the
state   of  corruption   into  which  it had   fallen,   and
whose names gave great promise of the fixture.     Still
Humboldt would not have felt induced  to exchange
his leisure and independence for public official service,
had not  the requirements of the latter accidentally
harmonized with his own plans.   The Prussian minister
in Home had  sent in his request for dismissal,   and
Beyme, a privy councillor of the Kong of   Prussia,
proposed Humboldt as the future minister resident In
Rome.    This post was well adapted for the classically-
educated and art-loving man5 as he would there have
abundant and the best opportunities of devoting him-
self to his intellectual development.    He anticipated
only advantage from his stay in Home, combined as
it would be with some  business occupation.    When
he had been in Rome some time, he wrote to Schiller:
*c I was in no desirable mood in Berlin, and even in
Paris.    I had been in no fortunate productive vein
for some years; I knew so many things, and some
better than many others,   and  yet   they would not
combine to a result, and   I  could   not   be   satisfied
with the active  part of my existence.      It  seemed
therefore   better   to    me    to   give   my    activity    a
positive, even if it were only a common, occupation,,
and I sought only for one which would at the same
time take me again, to some important spot/'      At
the same time he assured Schiller that nothing would
make him forgetful of his higher calling,, and it was
on this occasion that he told him that ideas would
always be to him the highest in the world.     " But
it is also true/' he continues^ "that if ail one's time is